Launching his presidential campaign, Massachusetts senator trashes President Bush\’s tax cuts and proposes a grab bag of pork and state interventionism

WASHINGTON – In his first speech on economic policy since forming a presidential exploratory committee, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) took aim at President Bush\’s signature tax cut package and proposed his own collection of economic initiatives.

The contrast between the two packages could not be more striking – while the Bush plan cut income tax rates across the board and eliminated such hated and discriminatory taxes as the Death Tax and the Marriage Penalty, Kerry would repeal those tax cuts and instead transfer wealth to targeted interest groups such as organized labor and environmentalists. And he would repeal the Bush tax cuts to "pay for" temporary payroll tax reductions, which are sure to disappear soon after they have served their purpose on election day.

"Kerry\’s speech takes me back to the days of gas lines and stagflation," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. "Rather than reducing the burdens of government and freeing the spirit of innovation, Kerry\’s proposals enshrine those burdens and add to them. Far from spurring growth, his package of tax and spending measures is nothing but a payoff to his friends on the left."

Senator Kerry\’s proposals include replacing Bush\’s tax cuts with a temporary "payroll tax holiday," extending unemployment insurance benefits and increasing the minimum wage, introducing job creation tax credits, and pouring money into environmental research.

"John Kerry seems to delight in moving money around from one person to another," Norquist continued. "But nothing in his package will do anything to spur economic growth. If Kerry, who married into the Heinz Ketchup family fortune, is concerned about tax cuts for the rich, let him pay to the Treasury pre-Bush levels of taxes. But he shouldn\’t require every entrepreneur, every family, and every investor to pay oppressive rates of taxes to fund his handouts to his friends."